A preserved tenement house, located at 33 Sienkiewicza Street (Polish: ul. Sienkiewicza 33) (former Ogrodowa Street 29 (Polish: ul. Ogrodowa  29)), built around 1903, housed a photographic workshop owned until 1942 by Adolf Ganiewski (Gancwol), a photographer, a distinguished Siedlce (Sedlec) social worker and philanthropist.

The Ganiewski workshop operated from 1895 to 1980. From August 1942 (the date of the photographer’s death in the Treblinka II extermination camp) until 1947, it was run by schoolgirls employed at the beginning of the German occupation: Regina Tomaszewska and Ludmiła Gryszkiel (1940-1945), then from 1947 to 1980 Wacław Rudecki, initially as the tenant, then as the owner.

The Atelier specialised in large group portraits, cabinet and multiple portraits and photographs of the architecture of Siedlce, including the so-called “streets’ photographs”.

The factory also ran its own printing business; it produced postcards, distinguished by their high printing quality and a class of cardboard - today sought after among collectors. He made the most postcards between 1904 and 1914.

Until the Second World War, Adolf Ganiewski used glass plates based on a gelatine layer sensitised with silver halides. During the war, he worked on celluloid negatives, easily destroyable, which is why virtually no photographs were preserved.

In the early days of the Second World War, the factory fictitiously employed many young people, especially women, to protect them from being sent to forced labour in Germany.

After the Germans created the Siedlce ghetto in 1941, Adolf Ganiewski was arrested and resettled in the ghetto. During the liquidation of the ghetto, he was taken by the Germans to the Treblinka II extermination camp and murdered there on 25 August 1942.

In August 2010, at the initiative of the photographer’s grandson – Jan Galinowski - a commemorative plaque was placed on the facade of the house and the plant, with the following inscription:

Adolf Ganiewski 1870-1942
Excellent master of photography,
Social activist, Polish patriot.
The owner of a photographic business that formerly existed on the site for almost 60 years.
Creator of around 1,000 existing, magnificent photographs commemorating the city of Siedlce and its inhabitants.
He died a martyr’s death during the war, together with his wife, murdered in the Treblinka extermination camp.
In honour of his memory

Currently (May 2022), the building on ul. 33 Sienkiewicza Street is unoccupied and is owned by a private owner.

The Regional Museum in Siedlce preserves around 1,000 glass negatives of various formats, photographs, including a valuable five-fold portrait of the photographer himself, as well as furniture and equipment from the workshop’s equipment, an alphabetical register of the workshop’s clients, a cash book with the numbers of negatives and prices of services, bookbinding presses used to paste photographs onto company cardboard and to emboss signatures. Only a few photographs relating to the Jewish community have survived in the collection.


Based on:

  • Kordaczuk S., Siedlecki fotograf Adolf (Gancwol) Ganiewski 1870-1942, Siedlce 2009
  • Kopówka E., Żydzi w Siedlcach 1850-1945, Siedlce 2009